LYNNWOOD — Anyone driving by Edmonds Community College can hear it.
It’s the sound of bulldozers and backhoes working diligently to prepare for the new Triton field, which will be the site for student athletic fields as well as the home for the baseball, softball and soccer teams.
t’s exciting,” interim athletic director Clay Blackwood said.
At the moment the field doesn’t look exciting. It’s just a dirt field with a fence taking shape around the outside. But for everyone from the area interested in playing and watching sports, the idea of a state-of-the-art FieldTurf surface can get hearts racing.
The $2.5 million dollar undertaking broke ground in June and will be funded by a $1.50 per credit fee that was approved by the student body.
“They were the driving force,” Blackwood said. “The student government that was here the past year got it done.”
The field will bring soccer and softball on campus. Both sports had been playing previously at Meadowdale High School.
The project is a few weeks behind schedule, but the hope is to have the surface ready for the final few home soccer games in October.
“They are a little bit behind because they find things as they dig… It’s construction,” Blackwood said. “Overall it seems like they are in pretty good shape.
“There are little things here and there that we are catching. If we are going to build it we might as well build it as right as possible based on the space that we have.”
The field will represent a bit of a change for the baseball team, which will see the center field fence get pushed deeper to what Blackwood called “a pretty good poke.”
But the baseball team will no longer be responsible for the upkeep on the field as it was previously. The only dirt on the field will be the pitchers mound, which won’t come into play on the soccer field. The infield turf will be painted brown to simulate a natural infield.
The field won’t just be for varsity athletics. Blackwood expects to create intramural sports on campus for the first time, beginning as soon as the field is complete. Also, the Physical Education department expects to get plenty of use out of it.
The price tag may be in the millions of dollars, but the athletic department expects to be able use the new facilities to raise money for things like scholarships and maitenence with revenue streams that didn’t exist before.
Because there will actually be a fence around the field for the first time, the department will sell tickets to non-students to attend the games (students will get in free). Also, pending approval, advertising is expected to go on the exterior wall of the baseball field. More immediately, the department will be able to rent the field out to outside groups looking to host tournaments and other events.
“We’ve already got clubs calling saying, they want to rent it for this, they want to rent it for that,” Blackwood said.
The department expects that the new complex will also be a boon for recruiting. A former softball coach, Blackwood has already gone through the recruiting pitch in his head.
“We’ve got the premier softball field in the area and the dorms are right behind it,” Blackwood said. “You could have a room that is overlooking your field.
“It’s huge for recruiting.”